Easington Colliery vs Billingham Synthonia

Colliers narrowly beaten by Synners

Easington Colliery were narrowly beaten 2-3 at home to Billingham Synthonia on Thursday night.

Tom Bligh’s 78th minute strike proved the difference between the sides, but it took a wicked deflection on its way in.

Synners went into the break two goals to the good with Dylan Gnaglo and Blight netting, but the Green Army responded in the second half through Liam Adamson and Jack Pounder.

However, Bligh’s deflected effort proved to be the difference between the sides.

One change was made from Saturday’s defeat at Billingham Town with goalkeeper Sam Naylor coming in for Keith Finch, while there was a place on the bench for Daryll Hall.

Both sides finished with 10 men as Brennan Ball and Alex Bruton were sent off in the first half.

With the first real chance, Synthonia broke the deadlock. Less than three minutes had been played when a low ball was played across the Easington penalty area. The original effort bounced back off the crossbar, but it hit Gnaglo and bounced into the net.

As the game settled down, the Colliers had a spell of possession, but no real chances came from the possession.

The visitors had the ball in the net for a second time in the 17th minute, but it wasn’t to count. A superb strike saw a free-kick from the halfway line clip the post on its way in, but the referee disallowed it as he hadn’t blown his whistle.

Pounder fired wide with Easington’s first half chance in the 18th minute, before Josh Home-Jackson was ruled offside when played in on goal.

There was little action in the final third in the first half.

In the 32nd minute, both sides were reduced to 10 men. Bruton left his elbow in on Ball’s jaw, and Ball reacted by pushing Bruton. It sparked a small melee, and the referee reacted by sending both Ball and Bruton off.

Home-Jackson then had a shot blocked, before the same man looked to be hauled to the ground in the penalty area but the referee thought otherwise.

In the second minute of first half injury time, Synthonia doubled their lead. It all started when goalkeeper Callum Roberts did well to catch an Easington corner. He quickly released the ball, and it was worked to Bligh whose 20 yard effort beat Naylor.

The second goal put the visitors firmly in control, and the Colliers had plenty of work to do in the second half.

Following the break, the Colliers had another corner, but once again, Roberts did well to catch.

After Gnaglo sliced well wide for the hosts, the Colliers halved the deficit in the 56th minute. Jak Ashton’s throw was flicked on by Pounder to find Adamson who beat his man before finishing well.

Only four minutes later, the Colliers were level. Home-Jackson worked the ball out to Adamson who charged down the wing. He did very well to beat two players and play a ball across the face of goal. It found Pounder at the back post and he slotted home to suddenly pull the Colliers level.

Naylor was forced into a save to prevent Louis Johnson shortly after, before Home-Jackson’s ambitious 40-yard effort dipped over at the other end.

With just over 20 minutes to play, James Talbot came to Easington’s rescue. Johnson dinked an effort over Naylor and it was creeping in, but Talbot got back to clear off the line.

Pounder then forced a good save from Roberts after being picked out by Adamson, before a good save from Naylor prevented Ben Pollock.

Niall McGoldrick then produced a crucial block, before another Naylor save denied Johnson again.

Having conceded their lead, Billingham Synthonia were no in search of a winner.

But, Easington were also creating chances. In the 74th minute, Adamson had an effort crucially blocked.

However, soon after, a cruel goal regained Synthonia’s lead. Bligh took aim from 25 yards, and his effort took a wicked deflection to wrong foot Naylor and nestle into the net.

The Colliers huffed and puffed late on. Chances fell the way of Pounder, Talbot and Vincent, with the latter forcing a superb reaction save from Roberts, but there wasn’t to be an equaliser and Billingham Synthonia took the points.

Full-time: Easington Colliery 2-3 Billingham Synthonia

Next up for me is Dunipace vs Bonnyrigg Rose tomorrow night.

Easington Colliery: Naylor, Ball, Ashton (Hall, 82′), Green, Robson, McGoldrick, Talbot, Vincent, Pounder (c), Home-Jackson (Goundry, 66′), Adamson

Unused subs: Garside, MacDougall

Billingham Synthonia: Roberts, Frazer, Joynes (Gowan, 27′), McCardle, Joseph, Bligh (Dunn, 80′), Wilson, Pollock (c), Johnson, Gnaglo (Wilson, 64′), Bruton

Unused subs: Heslin, Dalton

Admission: £5 adults, £2 concessions

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 123

Referee: Thomas Bainbridge

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